New year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to keep, but two are absolutely worth the effort:
- reading the Bible more
- studying the Bible better
Are those on your resolutions list? (Or, if you don’t make new year’s resolutions, two of your hopes for 2021?)
Here are tools and strategies to help you follow through.
How to read the Bible more
Take a look at 5 Quick Tips to Keep Bible-Reading Resolutions for practical ideas on planning your Bible reading for the year and keeping it up.
Spoiler alert: one of the tips is to remove barriers to completing your Bible reading. For example, use a mobile Bible reading plan instead of one based in your physical Bible. You can take it everywhere with you so all those minutes waiting for grocery pickup, at the doctor’s office, etc., can be spent reading your Bible.
Here’s how to get a mobile reading plan started from Logos 9:
For more ideas on developing a sustainable habit for personal Bible study, check out 5 Tips to Reinforce Your Bible Study and Prayer Routine.
How to study the Bible better
“Rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) requires understanding, and understanding requires study. But how do you begin?
Martin Luther gave a memorable description of his Bible study practice:
I study my Bible as I gather apples. First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest might fall. Then I shake each limb, and when I have shaken each limb, I shake each branch and every twig. Then I look under every leaf.1
For an “apple-gathering” Bible-study process you can follow every day, take a look at these steps (from the Basic Bible Study workflow in Logos 9 Starter and above):
- Read your passage.
- Read the passage in other translations.
- Identify people in your passage.
- Identify important cross-references.
- Summarize your passage.
- Review commentary discussions.
- Determine your passage’s theological principles.
- Apply the passage’s principles to yourself.
- Share the insights from your Bible study.
You can follow those steps even if you don’t have Logos. But if you do have Logos . . . you’re in for a treat.
Logos will act as your superpowered digital librarian—bringing you all the relevant resources from your library. So instead of spending time flipping pages and scouring tables of contents, you can spend that time in Bible study.
In just one click, for example, you can pull up translations to compare.
Consulting all the related commentaries you own is just as easy:
- Logos gathers them all for you.
- Open to the right spot with one click.
Logos also automatically brings you cross-references, information about people in your passage, and more.
Plus, the Basic Bible Study Workflow is only one of many. Other in-depth workflows, for example, integrate all the technical steps of original-language-based exegesis to help you arrive at a thorough understanding of a passage and then teach that passage to others. See more workflows.
While we may not put it in these words, many of us are making the same new year’s resolution—to know God better.
What were we made for? To know God! What aim should we set ourselves in life? To know God. What is the “eternal life” that Jesus gives? Knowledge of God . . . What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment, than anything else? Knowledge of God.2
—J. I. Packer
Blessings as you seek the Lord this year.
Ron Rhodes, 1001 Unforgettable Quotes about God, Faith & the Bible (Harvest House Publishers, 2011), 41.
- Ibid., 583.
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